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Flightless

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a sparrow in a reclining couch the therapist asks when did it first start
there’s a pause, contemplative silence, and it says when I realised I was pneumatized
and I couldn’t trust my trusses not to give way beneath the strain of this
weakened structure.
I can’t run or swim or jump or even hover for a second or two. I assure you I
am quite unappetizing as well. Born and bred in captivity I did not even
need to be caged in a gilded tower; I did not sing, I danced, I put on a musical revue, I
ate my seeds I believed and when they called me lewd I chirped have you read
the gospels? I am significant. (Indignation here.) I will not fall without your Father I come in
value packs of two for a farthing and if there were more of me I would be
worth at least one of you.
steely eyes peer above black rims, rustle rustle, the scribble of a leaky fountain pen:
but then why are you afraid to stop roosting in your rut
why do you languish in lethargic loneliness
why do your feet always touch the ground
why not take a leap of faith and fly?
the sparrow pauses, bites its boned tongue,
I’m sorry but I can’t leave the nest my wings are far too
fragile the wind is infinitely stronger than I and my bones are much too hollow.




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